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Adam S. Jacoff (Fed)

Adam Jacoff is a robotics research engineer at the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) which is part of the U.S. Department of Commerce. Over the past thirty years, he has developed a variety of innovative robots and directed evaluations of more than a hundred others in a range of sizes, including the first technology readiness level assessment of autonomous mobility for the U.S. Army's Experimental Unmanned Vehicle (XUV) (2002-2003).

His current efforts are focused toward developing a suite of 50 standard test methods for response robots to objectively evaluate ground, aquatic, and aerial system capabilities and facilitate integration of emerging technologies. He has conducted more than thirty international robot competitions using the test methods as challenge tasks to guide innovation and measure progress (2000-present). He has conducted more than a hundred robot exercises to refine and validate the test methods with emergency responders and robot manufacturers, including dozens of comprehensive robot evaluations using the test methods to quantify key capabilities guiding more than $100M of purchasing decisions for civilian and military organizations (2005-present). He is now validating use of the test methods as repeatable practice tasks to focus remote operator/pilot training and measure proficiency for credentialing.  

Recognition of his work includes:

  • Presidential Gears of Government Award (2020) for exceptional delivery of key outcomes for the American people. 
  • Department of Commerce’s Secretary Ron Brown Excellence in Innovation Award (2019), Gold Medal Award (2019), and three Bronze Medal Awards (2011, 2004, 2002). 
  • Federal Laboratory Consortium Award for Excellence in Technology Transfer (2008).
  • NIST's Measurement Science Award (2014) and Applied Research Award (2006). 
  • Commendations from DARPA (2015), Dept. of Homeland Security (2014), Dept. of State (2014), Army (2009) and several state and local responder organizations. 
  • International Awards from the Japanese Society of Instrument and Control Engineers (2003), the International Rescue Systems Institute (2011), and the ASTM International Standards Society Award of Merit for lifetime achievement with honorary title of Fellow (2015).

He received a B.S. degree in Mechanical Engineering from the University of Maryland and a M.S. degree in Computer Science from Johns Hopkins University.

Selected Publications


The Open Academic Robot Kit

Raymond K. Sheh, Amy Eguchi, Haldun Komsuoglu, Adam S. Jacoff
The Open Academic Robot Kit (OARKit) lowers the barrier of entry into robotics research. A community driven initiative, it was developed in the context of the
Created August 15, 2019, Updated December 8, 2022